“Men, you may all do as you damn please, but I’m a’goin home.”
This man–who’s statue has been targeted and whose grave as been desecrated–was one of the earliest advocates for civil rights in Memphis after the War between the States.
He was a tireless defender of his black brothers and sisters, and a driving force in the quest for racial equality. He was a Christian and a gentleman; selfless, industrious, gregarious, and courageous. He was vilified by his fellows for daring to suggest that there were more fellows than those lacking in pigmentation.
He is further vilified now as a bigoted monster. Upon his head sits the mocker’s crown inscribed with most dreaded epithet that the present culture (with all its moral superiority) can muster–“racist.”
He is regularly burned in effigy by the Tolerance Brigade of the Far Left–the closest thing we have to a lynch mob. Whether his legend is true or not is not a matter of concern for them; all that matters is that it dangles nicely from a Magnolia tree.
The Modern Evangelical, ever concerned with doctrinaire ideas like atonement and redemption, finds in Forrest and his fellows a steady supply of scapegoats. Such regular offerings help to sate the the unquenchable thirst of the gods of the zeitgeist, if only for a moment. Whereas the Secularists are the High Priests of Modernity, these Evangelicals are their low-church lackeys. They don’t stand in the temples performing the sacrifices (they never stand of course, being invertebrates and all), instead they slither around seeking easy quarries. The venerable dead are always favorite targets. Finding a Lee, or a Jackson, or a Forrest, we hear their serpentine call to worship, “Brethren, let us prey.”
But before they have squeezed all of the remaining virtue from his legacy, I wanted to stop by and say that this was indeed a noble man. Such a figure certainly frightens our generation but that is not because he was a monster, it’s because we don’t know what nobility looks like. Giants invariably frighten pygmies. We hereby salute the memory of General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Of course someone might protest, “He was a deeply flawed man.” To which should come the reasonable response, “Yes. Who isn’t?” Abraham with his doubt and deception? Isaac with his rebellion against the election of grace? Jacob with his duplicity? Moses, that hot-tempered manslayer? Samson, ruled by his passions? David, murderous and adulterous? These are simply a few whom the Scriptures speak of as “saints,” and do so without blushing. The lists get no better when we move from an ancient cast to a more modern one.
If perfection is required before any men or women can be celebrated for any reason, then pray tell who on earth could ever be listed among the righteous? Furthermore, who is qualified to decide? Which man among us is so devoid of flaw that he can successfully arbitrate the matter?
I say let he who is without sin pull down the first stone…